Terms related to Expert Improving the Test Process 2011

Formal testing with respect to user needs, requirements, and business processes conducted to determine whether or not a system satisfies the acceptance criteria and to enable the user, customers or other authorized entity to determine whether or not to accept the system.
The phase within the IDEAL model where the improvements are developed, put into practice, and deployed across the organization. The acting phase consists of the activities: create solution, pilot/test solution, refine solution and implement solution.
A group of software development methodologies based on iterative incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.
Testing practice for a project using Agile software development methodologies, incorporating techniques and methods, such as extreme programming (XP), treating development as the customer of testing and emphasizing the test-first design paradigm.
Simulated or actual operational testing by potential users/customers or an independent test team at the developers' site, but outside the development organization. Alpha testing is often employed for commercial off-the-shelf software as a form of internal acceptance testing.
A tool that carries out static analysis.
Any condition that deviates from expectation based on requirements specifications, design documents, user documents, standards, etc., or from someone's perception or experience. Anomalies may be found during, but not limited to, reviewing, testing, analysis, compilation, or use of software products or applicable documentation.
A document summarizing the assessment results, e.g., conclusions, recommendations and findings.
A person who conducts an assessment. Any member of an assessment team.
An independent evaluation of software products or processes to ascertain compliance to standards, guidelines, specifications, and/or procedures based on objective criteria, including documents that specify: the form or content of the products to be produced, the process by which the products shall be produced, and how compliance to standards or guidelines shall be measured.
A strategic tool for measuring whether the operational activities of a company are aligned with its objectives in terms of business vision and strategy.
Software developed specifically for a set of users or customers. The opposite is commercial off-the-shelf software.
A superior method or innovative practice that contributes to the improved performance of an organization under given context, usually recognized as "best" by other peer organizations.
Operational testing by potential and/or existing users/customers at an external site not otherwise involved with the developers, to determine whether or not a component or system satisfies the user/customer needs and fits within the business processes. Beta testing is often employed as a form of external acceptance testing for commercial off-the-shelf software in order to acquire feedback from the market.
Bug
A flaw in a component or system that can cause the component or system to fail to perform its required function, e.g., an incorrect statement or data definition. A defect, if encountered during execution, may cause a failure of the component or system.
A framework that describes the key elements of an effective product development and maintenance process. The Capability Maturity Model Integration covers best-practices for planning, engineering and managing product development and maintenance.
Acronym for Computer Aided Software Engineering.
Acronym for Computer Aided Software Testing.
An analysis technique aimed at identifying the root causes of defects. By directing corrective measures at root causes, it is hoped that the likelihood of defect recurrence will be minimized.
A graphical representation used to organize and display the interrelationships of various possible root causes of a problem. Possible causes of a real or potential defect or failure are organized in categories and subcategories in a horizontal tree-structure, with the (potential) defect or failure as the root node.
A graphical representation of inputs and/or stimuli (causes) with their associated outputs (effects), which can be used to design test cases.
The process of confirming that a component, system or person complies with its specified requirements.
(1) A structured approach to transitioning individuals and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. (2) Controlled way to effect a change, or a proposed change, to a product or service.
A statement of test objectives, and possibly test ideas about how to test. Test charters are used in exploratory testing.
An analysis method that determines which parts of the software have been executed (covered) by the test suite and which parts have not been executed, e.g., statement coverage, decision coverage or condition coverage.
Excessive emotional or psychological dependence on another person, specifically in trying to change that person's current (undesirable) behavior while supporting them in continuing that behavior. For example, in software testing, complaining about late delivery to test and yet enjoying the necessary "heroism", working additional hours to make up time when delivery is running late, therefore reinforcing the lateness.
The set of generic and specific conditions, agreed upon with the stakeholders for permitting a process to be officially completed. The purpose of exit criteria is to prevent a task from being considered completed when there are still outstanding parts of the task which have not been finished. Exit criteria are used to report against and to plan when to stop testing.
The degree to which a component or system has a design and/or internal structure that is difficult to understand, maintain and verify.
The capability of the software product to adhere to standards, conventions or regulations in laws and similar prescriptions.
A minimal software item that can be tested in isolation.
A discipline applying technical and administrative direction and surveillance to identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a configuration item, control changes to those characteristics, record and report change processing and implementation status, and verify compliance with specified requirements.
A process model providing a detailed description of good engineering practices, e.g., test practices.
A process model providing a detailed description of good engineering practices, e.g., test practices.
A capability maturity model structure wherein capability levels provide a recommended order for approaching process improvement within specified process areas.
A dashboard-style representation of the status of corporate performance data.
The total costs incurred on quality activities and issues and often split into prevention costs, appraisal costs, internal failure costs and external failure costs.
The degree, expressed as a percentage, to which a specified coverage item has been exercised by a test suite.
An element necessary for an organization or project to achieve its mission. Critical success factors are the critical factors or activities required for ensuring the success.
A content-based model for test process improvement built around twelve critical processes. These include highly visible processes, by which peers and management judge competence and mission-critical processes in which performance affects the company's profits and reputation.
Software developed specifically for a set of users or customers. The opposite is commercial off-the-shelf software.
A program point at which the control flow has two or more alternative routes. A node with two or more links to separate branches.
A flaw in a component or system that can cause the component or system to fail to perform its required function, e.g., an incorrect statement or data definition. A defect, if encountered during execution, may cause a failure of the component or system.
The number of defects identified in a component or system divided by the size of the component or system (expressed in standard measurement terms, e.g., lines-of-code, number of classes or function points).
The number of defects found by a test level, divided by the number found by that test level and any other means afterwards.
The process of recognizing, investigating, taking action and disposing of defects. It involves recording defects, classifying them and identifying the impact.
The set of generic and specific conditions, agreed upon with the stakeholders for permitting a process to be officially completed. The purpose of exit criteria is to prevent a task from being considered completed when there are still outstanding parts of the task which have not been finished. Exit criteria are used to report against and to plan when to stop testing.
An iterative four-step problem-solving process (plan-do-check-act) typically used in process improvement.
The phase within the IDEAL model where it is determined where one is, relative to where one wants to be. The diagnosing phase consists of the activities to characterize current and desired states and develop recommendations.
Testing that involves the execution of the software of a component or system.
The capability of producing an intended result.
(1) The capability of the software product to provide appropriate performance, relative to the amount of resources used, under stated conditions. (2) The capability of a process to produce the intended outcome, relative to the amount of resources used.
The ability, capacity, and skill to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups.
A human action that produces an incorrect result.
The phase within the IDEAL model where the specifics of how an organization will reach its destination are planned. The establishing phase consists of the activities set priorities, develop approach and plan actions.
A non-prescriptive framework for an organization's quality management system, defined and owned by the European Foundation for Quality Management, based on five 'Enabling' criteria (covering what an organization does), and four 'Results' criteria (covering what an organization achieves).
The set of generic and specific conditions, agreed upon with the stakeholders for permitting a process to be officially completed. The purpose of exit criteria is to prevent a task from being considered completed when there are still outstanding parts of the task which have not been finished. Exit criteria are used to report against and to plan when to stop testing.
An informal test design technique where the tester actively controls the design of the tests as those tests are performed and uses information gained while testing to design new and better tests.
A software engineering methodology used within Agile software development whereby core practices are programming in pairs, doing extensive code review, unit testing of all code, and simplicity and clarity in code.
Deviation of the component or system from its expected delivery, service or result.
A systematic approach to risk identification and analysis of identifying possible modes of failure and attempting to prevent their occurrence.
A flaw in a component or system that can cause the component or system to fail to perform its required function, e.g., an incorrect statement or data definition. A defect, if encountered during execution, may cause a failure of the component or system.
The number of defects identified in a component or system divided by the size of the component or system (expressed in standard measurement terms, e.g., lines-of-code, number of classes or function points).
The number of defects found by a test level, divided by the number found by that test level and any other means afterwards.
A technique used to analyze the causes of faults (defects). The technique visually models how logical relationships between failures, human errors, and external events can combine to cause specific faults to disclose.
A graphical representation used to organize and display the interrelationships of various possible root causes of a problem. Possible causes of a real or potential defect or failure are organized in categories and subcategories in a horizontal tree-structure, with the (potential) defect or failure as the root node.
The capability of the software product to provide functions which meet stated and implied needs when the software is used under specified conditions.
An approach to software measurement using a three-level model conceptual level (goal), operational level (question) and quantitative level (metric).
An organizational improvement model that serves as a roadmap for initiating, planning, and implementing improvement actions. The IDEAL model is named for the five phases it describes: initiating, diagnosing, establishing, acting, and learning.
The process of recognizing, investigating, taking action and disposing of incidents. It involves logging incidents, classifying them and identifying the impact.
A measure that can be used to estimate or predict another measure.
Attributes of software products that bear on its ability to prevent unauthorized access, whether accidental or deliberate, to programs and data.
The phase within the IDEAL model where the groundwork is laid for a successful improvement effort. The initiating phase consists of the activities: set context, build sponsorship and charter infrastructure.
A variable (whether stored within a component or outside) that is read by a component.
A type of peer review that relies on visual examination of documents to detect defects, e.g., violations of development standards and non-conformance to higher level documentation. The most formal review technique and therefore always based on a documented procedure.
The process of combining components or systems into larger assemblies.
Testing performed to expose defects in the interfaces and in the interactions between integrated components or systems.
The capability of the software product to interact with one or more specified components or systems.
A graphical representation used to organize and display the interrelationships of various possible root causes of a problem. Possible causes of a real or potential defect or failure are organized in categories and subcategories in a horizontal tree-structure, with the (potential) defect or failure as the root node.
A metric that supports the judgment of process performance.
The person who leads an assessment. In some cases, for instance CMMI and TMMi when formal assessments are conducted, the lead assessor must be accredited and formally trained.
The phase within the IDEAL model where one learns from experiences and improves one's ability to adopt new processes and technologies in the future. The learning phase consists of the activities: analyze and validate, and propose future actions.
A partitioning of the life of a product or project into phases.
The ease with which a software product can be modified to correct defects, modified to meet new requirements, modified to make future maintenance easier, or adapted to a changed environment.
Modification of a software product after delivery to correct defects, to improve performance or other attributes, or to adapt the product to a modified environment.
A view of quality, whereby quality is measured by the degree to which a product or service conforms to its intended design and requirements. Quality arises from the process(es) used.
A test plan that typically addresses multiple test levels.
(1) The capability of an organization with respect to the effectiveness and efficiency of its processes and work practices. (2) The capability of the software product to avoid failure as a result of defects in the software.
Degree of process improvement across a predefined set of process areas in which all goals in the set are attained.
A structured collection of elements that describe certain aspects of maturity in an organization, and aid in the definition and understanding of an organization's processes.
The average time between failures of a component or system.
The average time a component or system will take to recover from a failure.
The number or category assigned to an attribute of an entity by making a measurement.
The process of assigning a number or category to an entity to describe an attribute of that entity.
A measurement scale and the method used for measurement.
A point in time in a project at which defined (intermediate) deliverables and results should be ready.
A human action that produces an incorrect result.
A tool that supports the creation, amendment, and verification of models of the component or system.
A minimal software item that can be tested in isolation.
A high-level document describing the principles, approach and major objectives of the organization regarding testing.
A high-level description of the test levels to be performed and the testing within those levels for an organization or programme (one or more projects).
A statistical technique in decision making that is used for selection of a limited number of factors that produce significant overall effect. In terms of quality improvement, a large majority of problems (80%) are produced by a few key causes (20%).
A review of a software work product by colleagues of the producer of the product for the purpose of identifying defects and improvements. Examples are inspection, technical review and walkthrough.
The degree to which a system or component accomplishes its designated functions within given constraints regarding processing time and throughput rate.
A metric that supports the judgment of process performance.
The ease with which the software product can be transferred from one hardware or software environment to another.
A meeting at the end of a project during which the project team members evaluate the project and learn lessons that can be applied to the next project.
The level of (business) importance assigned to an item, e.g., defect.
A set of interrelated activities, which transform inputs into outputs.
A disciplined evaluation of an organization's software processes against a reference model.
A program of activities designed to improve the performance and maturity of the organization's processes, and the result of such a program.
A framework in which processes of the same nature are classified into an overall model.
A view of quality, wherein quality is based on a well-defined set of quality attributes. These attributes must be measured in an objective and quantitative way. Differences in the quality of products of the same type can be traced back to the way the specific quality attributes have been implemented.
A project is a unique set of coordinated and controlled activities with start and finish dates undertaken to achieve an objective conforming to specific requirements, including the constraints of time, cost and resources.
A structured way to capture lessons learned and to create specific action plans for improving on the next project or next project phase.
A risk related to management and control of the (test) project, e.g., lack of staffing, strict deadlines, changing requirements, etc.
The degree to which a component, system or process meets specified requirements and/or user/customer needs and expectations.
Part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.
A feature or characteristic that affects an item's quality.
A set of activities designed to evaluate the quality of a component or system.
Coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to quality that include establishing a quality policy and quality objectives, quality planning, quality control, quality assurance, and quality improvement.
A proprietary adaptable iterative software development process framework consisting of four project lifecycle phases: inception, elaboration, construction and transition.
The ability of the software product to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period of time, or for a specified number of operations.
A condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or achieve an objective that must be met or possessed by a system or system component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed document.
A meeting at the end of a project during which the project team members evaluate the project and learn lessons that can be applied to the next project.
An evaluation of a product or project status to ascertain discrepancies from planned results and to recommend improvements. Examples include management review, informal review, technical review, inspection, and walkthrough.
A factor that could result in future negative consequences.
The importance of a risk as defined by its characteristics impact and likelihood. The level of risk can be used to determine the intensity of testing to be performed. A risk level can be expressed either qualitatively (e.g., high, medium, low) or quantitatively.
The importance of a risk as defined by its characteristics impact and likelihood. The level of risk can be used to determine the intensity of testing to be performed. A risk level can be expressed either qualitatively (e.g., high, medium, low) or quantitatively.
Systematic application of procedures and practices to the tasks of identifying, analyzing, prioritizing, and controlling risk.
A source of a defect such that if it is removed, the occurrence of the defect type is decreased or removed.
An analysis technique aimed at identifying the root causes of defects. By directing corrective measures at root causes, it is hoped that the likelihood of defect recurrence will be minimized.
A system whose failure or malfunction may result in death or serious injury to people, or loss or severe damage to equipment, or environmental harm.
The capability of the software product to be upgraded to accommodate increased loads.
An iterative incremental framework for managing projects commonly used with Agile software development.
Attributes of software products that bear on its ability to prevent unauthorized access, whether accidental or deliberate, to programs and data.
The degree of impact that a defect has on the development or operation of a component or system.
Computer programs, procedures, and possibly associated documentation and data pertaining to the operation of a computer system.
A systematic approach to risk identification and analysis of identifying possible modes of failure and attempting to prevent their occurrence.
A technique used to analyze the causes of faults (defects). The technique visually models how logical relationships between failures, human errors, and external events can combine to cause specific faults to disclose.
The period of time that begins when a software product is conceived and ends when the software is no longer available for use. The software lifecycle typically includes a concept phase, requirements phase, design phase, implementation phase, test phase, installation and checkout phase, operation and maintenance phase, and sometimes, retirement phase. Note these phases may overlap or be performed iteratively.
A program of activities designed to improve the performance and maturity of the organization's software processes and the results of such a program.
A feature or characteristic that affects an item's quality.
A feature or characteristic that affects an item's quality.
An entity in a programming language, which is typically the smallest indivisible unit of execution.
Documentation that provides a detailed description of a component or system for the purpose of developing and testing it.
A model structure wherein attaining the goals of a set of process areas establishes a maturity level; each level builds a foundation for subsequent levels.
Formal, possibly mandatory, set of requirements developed and used to prescribe consistent approaches to the way of working or to provide guidelines (e.g., ISO/IEC standards, IEEE standards, and organizational standards).
An entity in a programming language, which is typically the smallest indivisible unit of execution.
A tool that carries out static analysis.
A tool that carries out static analysis.
Testing of a software development artifact, e.g., requirements, design or code, without execution of these artifacts, e.g., reviews or static analysis.
A step-by-step presentation by the author of a document in order to gather information and to establish a common understanding of its content.
A collection of components organized to accomplish a specific function or set of functions.
Testing an integrated system to verify that it meets specified requirements.
A set of one or more test cases.
The process of analyzing the test basis and defining test objectives.
The implementation of the test strategy for a specific project. It typically includes the decisions made that follow based on the (test) project's goal and the risk assessment carried out, starting points regarding the test process, the test design techniques to be applied, exit criteria and test types to be performed.
An environment containing hardware, instrumentation, simulators, software tools, and other support elements needed to conduct a test.
A set of input values, execution preconditions, expected results and execution postconditions, developed for a particular objective or test condition, such as to exercise a particular program path or to verify compliance with a specific requirement.
A statement of test objectives, and possibly test ideas about how to test. Test charters are used in exploratory testing.
During the test closure phase of a test process data is collected from completed activities to consolidate experience, testware, facts and numbers. The test closure phase consists of finalizing and archiving the testware and evaluating the test process, including preparation of a test evaluation report.
The set of generic and specific conditions, agreed upon with the stakeholders for permitting a process to be officially completed. The purpose of exit criteria is to prevent a task from being considered completed when there are still outstanding parts of the task which have not been finished. Exit criteria are used to report against and to plan when to stop testing.
The degree, expressed as a percentage, to which a specified coverage item has been exercised by a test suite.
Data that exists (for example, in a database) before a test is executed, and that affects or is affected by the component or system under test.
The process of transforming general test objectives into tangible test conditions and test cases.
An environment containing hardware, instrumentation, simulators, software tools, and other support elements needed to conduct a test.
The calculated approximation of a result related to various aspects of testing (e.g., effort spent, completion date, costs involved, number of test cases, etc.) which is usable even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or noisy.
The process of running a test on the component or system under test, producing actual result(s).
The process of developing and prioritizing test procedures, creating test data and, optionally, preparing test harnesses and writing automated test scripts.
A plan for achieving organizational test process improvement objectives based on a thorough understanding of the current strengths and weaknesses of the organization's test processes and test process assets.
A group of test activities that are organized and managed together. A test level is linked to the responsibilities in a project. Examples of test levels are component test, integration test, system test and acceptance test.
The planning, estimating, monitoring and control of test activities, typically carried out by a test manager.
A tool that provides support to the test management and control part of a test process. It often has several capabilities, such as testware management, scheduling of tests, the logging of results, progress tracking, incident management and test reporting.
The person responsible for project management of testing activities and resources, and evaluation of a test object. The individual who directs, controls, administers, plans and regulates the evaluation of a test object.
A five-level staged framework for test process improvement, related to the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), that describes the key elements of an effective test process.
A test management task that deals with the activities related to periodically checking the status of a test project. Reports are prepared that compare the actuals to that which was planned.
A reason or purpose for designing and executing a test.
A distinct set of test activities collected into a manageable phase of a project, e.g., the execution activities of a test level.
A document describing the scope, approach, resources and schedule of intended test activities. It identifies amongst others test items, the features to be tested, the testing tasks, who will do each task, degree of tester independence, the test environment, the test design techniques and entry and exit criteria to be used, and the rationale for their choice, and any risks requiring contingency planning. It is a record of the test planning process.
The activity of establishing or updating a test plan.
A high-level document describing the principles, approach and major objectives of the organization regarding testing.
The fundamental test process comprises test planning and control, test analysis and design, test implementation and execution, evaluating exit criteria and reporting, and test closure activities.
A collection of (test) specialists who facilitate the definition, maintenance, and improvement of the test processes used by an organization.
A statement that echoes the Agile manifesto, and defines values for improving the testing process. The values are: flexibility over detailed processes, best practices over templates, deployment orientation over process orientation, peer reviews over quality assurance (departments), business driven over model-driven.
A person implementing improvements in the test process based on a test improvement plan.
Collecting and analyzing data from testing activities and subsequently consolidating the data in a report to inform stakeholders.
An environment containing hardware, instrumentation, simulators, software tools, and other support elements needed to conduct a test.
An uninterrupted period of time spent in executing tests. In exploratory testing, each test session is focused on a charter, but testers can also explore new opportunities or issues during a session. The tester creates and executes on the fly and records their progress.
A document that consists of a test design specification, test case specification and/or test procedure specification.
A group of test activities that are organized and managed together. A test level is linked to the responsibilities in a project. Examples of test levels are component test, integration test, system test and acceptance test.
A high-level description of the test levels to be performed and the testing within those levels for an organization or programme (one or more projects).
A software product that supports one or more test activities, such as planning and control, specification, building initial files and data, test execution and test analysis.
A skilled professional who is involved in the testing of a component or system.
The process consisting of all lifecycle activities, both static and dynamic, concerned with planning, preparation and evaluation of software products and related work products to determine that they satisfy specified requirements, to demonstrate that they are fit for purpose and to detect defects.
Artifacts produced during the test process required to plan, design, and execute tests, such as documentation, scripts, inputs, expected results, set-up and clear-up procedures, files, databases, environment, and any additional software or utilities used in testing.
An organization-wide management approach centered on quality, based on the participation of all members of the organization and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society. Total Quality Management consists of planning, organizing, directing, control, and assurance.
A continuous business-driven framework for test process improvement that describes the key elements of an effective and efficient test process.
The ability to identify related items in documentation and software, such as requirements with associated tests.
The analysis of transactions between people and within people's minds; a transaction is defined as a stimulus plus a response. Transactions take place between people and between the ego states (personality segments) within one person's mind.
A view of quality, wherein quality cannot be precisely defined, but we know it when we see it, or are aware of its absence when it is missing. Quality depends on the perception and affective feelings of an individual or group of individuals toward a product.
A minimal software item that can be tested in isolation.
The capability of the software to be understood, learned, used and attractive to the user when used under specified conditions.
A view of quality, wherein quality is the capacity to satisfy needs, wants and desires of the user(s). A product or service that does not fulfill user needs is unlikely to find any users. This is a context dependent, contingent approach to quality since different business characteristics require different qualities of a product.
A framework to describe the software development lifecycle activities from requirements specification to maintenance. The V-model illustrates how testing activities can be integrated into each phase of the software development lifecycle.
Confirmation by examination and through provision of objective evidence that the requirements for a specific intended use or application have been fulfilled.
A view of quality wherein quality is defined by price. A quality product or service is one that provides desired performance at an acceptable cost. Quality is determined by means of a decision process with stakeholders on trade-offs between time, effort and cost aspects.
Confirmation by examination and through provision of objective evidence that specified requirements have been fulfilled.
A step-by-step presentation by the author of a document in order to gather information and to establish a common understanding of its content.